TEACH312-22X (NET)

Social Sciences and Sustainability Education

15 Points

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Division of Education
Te Kura Toi Tangata School of Education


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: janene.harris@waikato.ac.nz
: christine.stewart@waikato.ac.nz

Placement/WIL Coordinator(s)


Student Representative(s)

Lab Technician(s)


: alistair.lamb@waikato.ac.nz
: melanie.chivers@waikato.ac.nz
: yilan.chen@waikato.ac.nz

You can contact staff by:

  • Calling +64 7 838 4466 select option 1, then enter the extension.
  • Extensions starting with 4, 5, 9 or 3 can also be direct dialled:
    • For extensions starting with 4: dial +64 7 838 extension.
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    • For extensions starting with 9: dial +64 7 837 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 3: dial +64 7 2620 + the last 3 digits of the extension e.g. 3123 = +64 7 262 0123.
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Paper Description

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This paper has been designed to help you explore social sciences and sustainability education as an innovative and active experience that supports your developing curriculum and professional learning for your work in schools.

The paper's pedagogy includes a range of experiences that invites critical reflection of the purpose of social sciences and sustainability education and ways The New Zealand Curriculum (Ministry of Education, 2007) and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa (Ministry of Education, 2008) organise and shape these in the Primary schooling curriculum. You will identify and develop conceptual and pedagogical understandings in relation to socio-cultural approaches to contexts including Te Tiriti o Waitangi, Aotearoa New Zealand histories, sustainability and local issues. You will learn how to apply skills processes such as inquiring, values exploration, perspectives thinking, decision-making and personal and social action. You will explore ways to support learners in their learning of these concepts and skills processes to think critically about what it means to be a citizen for a sustainable world.

The paper's sequence of contexts, activities and assignments is designed to build your interest and confidence about how and why social sciences and sustainability inquiry can be meaningfully activated in classrooms and community settings.

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Paper Structure

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This 150 hour paper is taught through 28 February - 10 June through a range of modes including lectures; practical workshops; field trips; experiential learning; seminars; online administration and resource support, readings review and critique and guidance for assignment work. Refer to the Outline's Schedule for lectures, workshops, and other timetabling.

Professional requirements

On graduation from an Initial Teacher Education Programme the provider must attest to The Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand | Matatū Aotearoa that the graduand:

  • is of good character;
  • is fit to be a teacher; and
  • has met the Standards for the teaching profession.

    A student who has not met these criteria based on evidence collected during their programme cannot graduate from their teacher education programme.

    Indicators that a person is of good character and fit to teach includes: regular and punctual attendance and positive contribution in class; the ability to relate to peers, children, teachers and university staff appropriately; and the ability to plan for a safe high quality teaching and learning environment. At the completion of each paper the lecturer is asked to attest to the Programme Leader or Academic Coordinator that individuals have displayed the attributes required of an effective teacher. These expectations are outlined in:

·Our Code Our Standards: Code of Professional Responsibility and Standards for the Teaching Profession.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge of the nature of social sciences and sustainability;
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • demonstrate conceptual understandings of the natural environment, society, sustainability, culture, politics and economics, and interrelationships between them;
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • demonstrate knowledge of the pedagogical approaches regarding experience, systems thinking and inquiry that can be used to explore historical, contemporary and future issues to develop citizenship for a more sustainable world;
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • demonstrate knowledge of the role of diverse values and perspectives in informing decision-making and motivating people to take action;
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • demonstrate engagement in issues through critical inquiry and experience leading to reflection on what this means for social sciences and sustainability education.
    Linked to the following assessments:
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Three assignments have been developed for participants to:

  • develop knowledge of the nature of, and concepts within social sciences and sustainability education;
  • develop understandings of pedagogical strategies to help primary school learners to engage in critical and experiential inquiry;
  • explore issues and contexts and demonstrate how these impact people's social decision-making and social action;
  • demonstrate understanding of how teaching and learning in social sciences and sustainability can prepare learners to work towards a peaceful, just and healthy world.
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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Social Sciences/ Sustainability Working Paper
8 Apr 2022
11:30 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Report: Inquiry into a Social Issue
22 May 2022
11:30 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. PowerPoint Slides Sustainability focus
5 Jun 2022
11:30 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
4. Online Discussion and Participation
  • Online: Moodle Forum Discussion
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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Harcourt, M., Milligan, A., and B. Wood, (2016). Teaching social studies for critical active citizenship in Aotearoa New Zealand. NZCER Press.

Note: This text is available from NZCER, The University Bookshop, The University Library, and as an E-book: mebooks.co.nz and Kindle amazon.com.

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Recommended Readings

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A list of key social sciences and sustainability literature, weekly readings, curriculum and policy documentation, web sites, resources for teaching and learning, media and public domain links will be available on the Moodle support site.
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Online Support

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This paper is delivered through some on-campus face to face contact (lecture, field trip), but most work will be conducted through a Moodle site for administration, dialogue, questions, and answers, assessment information and submission folders, resources etc.
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This is a 15 point paper. Viewing of the scheduled lectures, workshops, independent activities, field trip, readings, and assignment research and preparation constitute 150 hours of your time over the Semester A weeks (28 February - 10 June).
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Linkages to Other Papers

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Restricted papers: TEACH332

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